Cities need more money, not less, for housing and homelessness

May 24, 2023

The League of California Cities today sent a letter urging legislative leaders to provide $3 billion in ongoing funding to help cities boost the supply of affordable housing and reduce homelessness. The letter is part of a broader effort to ensure cities have the resources they need to protect their most vulnerable residents.

The letter comes in the aftermath of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s revised state budget proposal. The May Revision largely maintains previous commitments for homelessness. However, it proposes zero ongoing funding for homelessness, as well as $367.5 million in reductions and $345 million in deferments in much-needed housing funding.

The Legislative Analyst's Office issued its final analysis of the proposal on Tuesday, urging the state to make more spending cuts.

Cal Cities is standing strong behind its position that now is the time to invest in affordable housing. Delaying or eliminating nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars for housing programs will only exacerbate the housing affordability crisis and, ultimately, increase the number of Californians living on the streets, under bridges, or in their cars. 

Cal Cities is equally adamant that the state needs to provide a permanent home in the budget to help cities address homelessness. Cities cannot solve the housing and homelessness crisis alone. According to a statewide survey conducted by Cal Cities, nearly 85% of cities have implemented programs to prevent and reduce homelessness. However, nearly 90% of those cities are concerned about their ability to fund those services.

The May Revision is just one step in a series of lengthy budget negotiations that will stretch on throughout the year. To get involved, send a letter to the Budget Committee chairs urging them to support Cal Cities’ ask for ongoing funding to help cities boost the supply of affordable housing and reduce homelessness. For more information contact your regional public affairs manager